Hilton Honors is taking the lead among major US hotel loyalty programs when it comes to extending status and more.
Latest updates from Hilton Honors
Hilton says they want to show their appreciation to Honors members by extending benefits. Hilton is doing several things, including extending status, pausing points expiration, and extending free night certificates. Here’s all that they’re doing:
Hilton Honors 2019 status extension
Hilton Honors is extending the status of everyone who had status for the entire 2019 program year (based on 2018 activity). Those members were supposed to have their status downgraded as of March 31, 2020, and now that has been extended by a year.
In other words, if your Silver, Gold, or Diamond status was supposed to expire at the end of this month, it will now expire on March 31, 2021.
This is pure goodwill on Hilton’s part, and I commend them for this. After all, this is for members who earned status based on 2018 activity, which pre-dates this entire fiasco. This is purely a way for Hilton to be generous in hopes that people will select them for upcoming stays, once they start traveling again.
Hilton Honors 2020 status extension
Those who did qualify for status in 2020 based on 2019 activity will have their status be valid through March 31, 2022, rather than March 31, 2021. That means they’re extending status by 12 months for members who were loyal last year.
Hilton Honors extending points
Hilton Honors is pausing the expiration of points through December 31, 2020. So no Hilton Honors points will expire this year, while usually they expire after 12 months of inactivity. This is good for members who are less active in the program.
Hilton credit card free night certificates extended
Those earning weekend night rewards through a Hilton Honors credit card will have the expiration of those extended. Those certificates due to expire between March 11, 2020, and August 30, 2020, will now expire on August 31, 2021. That’s a super generous extension.
Hilton deserves credit for this
Hilton is obviously being incredibly generous here. It’s important to understand that this is being done for people based on their stays in 2018 and 2019, so it’s a way to show appreciation to those who have been loyal in the past, which sure is nice.
It’s also very generous that they’re extending weekend night rewards by a minimum of a year.
I do feel like I should acknowledge that Hilton does make it fairly easy to earn status, though, as they give out both Gold and Diamond status just for having select credit cards. That’s not to downplay this gesture, but rather to say that they don’t try to make status as “exclusive” as some other groups.
Will other hotel groups follow?
I think what Hilton is doing here is smart and proactive. Is this a case where other programs will follow them? I don’t necessarily assume so, at least not immediately.
I’m confident that all programs will make it easier to earn or keep status this year. However, I think it’s totally fair if other hotel loyalty programs want to wait to see how this evolves before making any decisions.
That being said, this is unarguably a goodwill gesture from Hilton, and when people start planning travel again, it may make them choose Hilton over a competitor. Other hotel loyalty programs might try to avoid that and match.
Hilton Honors is being generous by extending status for virtually everyone. They’re also pausing the expiration of points, and extending weekend night rewards.
I’ll be curious to see if other programs follow.
What do you make of Hilton’s generous Honors gesture? Do you think other programs will match this generosity?